Ghosh Medical Group founder and director Dr Arun Ghosh has appeared on day time TV shows for both the BBC and ITV.
He has made regular appearances on the Jeremy Kyle show, offering his expert opinion on a wide range of subjects and in May of 2022 the two joined forces once again on TalkTV to discuss GP working hours.
See below for the full interview and transcript.
Full Transcript of Video:
JK = Jeremy Kyle
AG = Dr Arun Ghosh
I’m delighted to welcome now Director of the Ghosh Medical Group, Dr Arun Ghosh, a long-term friend. How are you my friend?
I’m very well. How are you?
There he is, looking the part, looking the part. Do me a favour, this has caused massive debate today. People are texting in going well, if they want to work less hours, put them on part-time rates, others are texting in going doctors have an horrific time, it’s underfunded, it’s understaffed. Surely the most important thing Arun, is to get on with dealing with that appointment backlog and all that happened post-pandemic. But what would you do? What would you suggest? What would you expect us to think about GPs who are now saying we want to work shorter hours?
I mean, obviously as a GP, I see it from both sides. I think the important thing to remember is the job is a really difficult job to do and we’re not getting young doctors coming into the profession. They are preferring to go into hospital medicine or they don’t want to go into the NHS and they want to go to countries like New Zealand and Australia where they have a vision of a better life and better weather. So, we’re not retaining doctors, we’re not keeping them, the actual profession itself has changed in terms of the old adage of I remember my family doctor, meaning you would see the same doctor for continuity of care. That’s completely gone and you’re very lucky if you see the same doctor again, very often it could be a locum doctor or a salaried doctor. So, the structure of GPs has actually changed. Yes, there are some things that have happened that we’ve done ourselves. We have a far higher amount of GPs working part-time, trying to balance this what we call portfolio career of working in different areas and that hasn’t been very good for general practice as a whole, but we have to remember our patients have changed too. Our patients are much older, they’re much more complicated and the medicine that we have to deal with is much tougher on a daily basis than it was 10/15 years ago.
In terms of people listening to this, I guess the appointment backlog problem, people have missed out in the pandemic for cancer diagnosis because of lockdown and whatever. They’re going to think resentfully I guess about doctors saying shorter hours, more money, whatever. But what you’re saying, is it under investment? You said about people not wanting to come into the profession. That’ll be because it’s not attractive anymore, because of hours, because of money, because of the lack and support and help. Right?
Absolutely, and I think that lack of support has been a huge thing for possibly over 20 years. There needed to be investment many, many years ago to save general practice. I’m quite worried that general practice will turn into what dentistry has turned into in this country and that you’ll be struggling to zoom around and try and find an NHS doctor to get your appointment, because so many people are leaving and going into private medicine or online medicine. There are many ways that people actually want a job now. The previous attraction that was with the NHS were things like great sick pay, great pension, long continuity of a job, staying in a same area, dealing with those patients from birth to death.
That isn’t always now as attractive as it was because a lot of those things have been reduced and people want a job they actually really like to do every day for the next 30/40 years of their life.